It's been tied up in a three-year court battle, but the city can now move forward with building Sunset Ridge Park in West Newport Beach, the city announced Thursday.
The California Supreme Court this month denied a petition to hear the Banning Ranch Conservancy's appeal to challenge the project's environmental impact report. Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry said he is "elated" with the court's decision.
“It’s a travesty that the Conservancy took this matter to three different courts and wasted a great deal of Newport Beach taxpayers’ money along the way," Curry said in a released statement. "The goal was to block a community-supported park project. The Conservancy failed.”
The 13.7-acre Sunset Ridge Park will be located at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Superior Avenue. The project includes a baseball diamond that overlaps in an area with two soccer fields, a children’s playground, a grass warm-up field, pedestrian paths around the the park, view areas, a shade structure, and a restroom/storage facility.
Throughout the legal battle, the conservancy maintained Sunset Ridge Park was linked to the proposed, private development of the adjacent property and that the city’s environmental impact report was flawed.
City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner said defending the project was an expensive battle for Newport Beach, but in the end was worth it.
"Defending our project was an expensive battle, but this victory means that generations of kids and families get to enjoy the park," Gardner said. "Focusing on that aspect makes this fight worth every penny.”
The city plans to break ground on Sunset Ridge Park later this spring.
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